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Southwest Michigan Try Something New This Summer


June is a great month to break away from your daily routines and try something new. It's fun to check off your summer bucket list of to-dos in Southwest Michigan. And you can easily do them within your budget! Here are some upcoming freebie activities:
June 11-12
FREE Day Passes — Spend the Day at a Michigan State Park: This weekend get free access — no Recreation Pass needed — to all of Michigan's State Parks, including the four gorgeous ones in Southwest Michigan. Come play in the water, hike, bike, climb sand dunes, take nature walks and much more at Warren Dunes State Park, Bridgman, Warren Woods State Park, Sawyer, Grand Mere State Park, Stevensville and Van Buren State Park, South Haven.
FREE Fishing Weekend: Here's your chance to reel in, without a state fishing license, a lake trout, steelhead, scrappy blue gill, sunfish or any of the fish varieties swimming in Michigan waters. Michigan boasts some of the best freshwater fishing in the world and Southwest Michigan is a great place to try it for the first or 1,000th time!
All Summer
FREE Kites — with a Silver Beach Parking Pass: This summer try flying a kite on our miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, dunes and fields. You can get a free one when you park at Berrien County's Silver Beach Park (named one of the best family beaches in the U.S. by Parents magazine). Just redeem the coupon on the parking pass at Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, I-94 exit 29, Benton Harbor.


Toast the Coast

Few combinations surpass the wine, food, music and beach fun happening at the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival on Weko Beach, Bridgman. The festivities return June 18, 1-10 pm (EDT), with 19 area wineries taking center stage. Live music, presented by Four Winds Casino Resort, will feature Cat Fight, Duke Tumatoe, Slim Gypsy Baggage, The Right Now and Dog Patch Ramblers. Off-site parking and shuttles are available all day. Or better yet, stay over at one our lodgings offering festival transportation services. Tickets are $15 'til noon June 17; $20 at the door; children 12 and under are free (be sure to bring their beach gear).



Go paddleboarding

Have you tried stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)? Southwest Michigan waterways are great for all ages and levels.
Why get on board
SUP improves your balance; gives you a full body workout – constantly working your core and abdominal muscles; builds your body strength; reduces your stress and much more.
Where to get equipment
Third Coast Surf Shop in New Buffalo and St. Joseph has boards for sale or rent; plus they offer private SUP lessons and SUP yoga classes; guided trips on the Galien and Paw Paw Rivers (and for the more skilled, Lake Michigan). This is a great family or group activity, too.



Try sand art

The sand along Lake Michigan shore (and many inland lakes, too) is great for building sculptures and castles. Here are some tips:
Bring your tools:
Two buckets. Cut the bottom out of one.
Assorted diggers. Plastic shovels.
Carving detailers. Paint brushes (to wipe away sand), straws (to blow off loose sand), melon ballers and spatulas.
Build your foundation
Pile sand away from the water line. Saturate it with water, compacting it with your shovel, hands and feet. Flip the bottomless bucket onto the mound, fill it with sand, pack it in tight, lift the bucket, then voila! You have your first building block. Decorate with sticks, shells and stones.



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